What is it REALLY like to quit your day job and start your own business…?

 

What is it really like to quit your day job and start your own business? I’ll tell you…

Scary as hell. But worth it.

For years we had dreamed and fantasized about my husband leaving his job as an 18 year veteran Bench Jeweler to start his own business. He was amazing at what he did at the bench. And at home in what little free time he did have between the balancing act of a job, fatherhood and being a husband – he became a self-taught custom hand engraving artist, also. At first it was just a conversation in passing without much merit until the years passed and the stresses mounted. His life of being the “Great and Powerful Oz” behind the curtain began to take its toll. I could see his once clean pressed work shirt slowly evolve into a noose he wore around his neck day after day. A work horse, if you will, of building the dream of another instead of building his own. With intense pressures, work loads, mountains of stress and high company expectations a top producing jeweler faces inside of a major corporation – we knew our time was now or never to make the leap into freedom. Our freedom.

With two kids, himself and me to support – – we had some serious soul-searching to do. Could we even do this? Would we be able to earn an income? How would we financially back our business with only ourselves to lean on? Would our kids be okay? Would we fail? Would we succeed? How the hell do we do this? What would we tell our families!? – Did we even care and did that even matter anymore…

Our decision came after we realized all of those questions and concerns played second fiddle to the life we were currently living. We wanted a NEW beginning, a brighter future, adventure, travel, life by the sea and happiness. For that to happen we had to be brave enough to take our lives back into our own hands – so we did. We met with our CPA for guidance and probably a little “You can do this!” pat on the back before we jumped. The following day my husband quit his job – pulled out our retirement – and we hit the road running into the light chasing a better tomorrow. The rest is history. Sort of… We have a long ways to go!

Believe me, these decisions didn’t come without fear or apprehension. But we as a husband and wife – mother and father – knew that for our family this was our path and the direction we wanted to pour ourselves into. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali

There have been MANY bumps in our road so far. From illnesses, to insurance. From finances to vehicle break downs. From purchasing equipment to all the unsexy detail work of running a business with love –  we have experienced what seems like a lifetime of getting unexpected kinks worked out in just a few short months. I’m pretty sure this comes with the territory of entrepreneurialism and more will happen over time. But as for now we are heading into calmer waters and sailing off into our official launch this month! Exciting, amiright’?!

 

With love,

xoxo

Ashley

 

Is this thing on? *Tap Tap

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Hand engraved Skull Art Hobo Nickel by Donny Jenkins @ Preston Belle Designs

 

 

Hello there, I’m Donny Jenkins; Metalsmith, jewelry designer, custom engraving artist, husband, dad and owner of Preston Belle Designs.  This is my very first blog. Is this thing on? *Tap Tap. I was a bench jeweler & gold smith for 17 years working in the corporate box until November 17th, 2017. I made the decision with the support of my wife to leave the 9-7 grind to build my own business and life by design. I knew as an artist this was the direction I wanted to go in so I could creatively expand and produce one of a kind handcrafted pieces. Collectively as a family we knew we wanted to travel, live a fuller life together, construct our own vision and no longer be tied down to building someone else’s dreams – but rather put in the work to build our own.

My studio is home based where I create through castings, hand engraving, metal art, and jewelry making. I’m looking forward to sharing with you about my engravings, my jewelry pieces, castings and about our life in this new adventure and where it takes us!  Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my blog!